It took a bit longer than most likely expected, but our first faux controversy in the run-up to the first-ever College Football Playoff championship has emerged.
According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, Ohio State will be permitted an unlimited amount of practice time this week ahead of Monday night’s matchup with Oregon. Oregon, however, will be limited to 20 practice hours, which for NCAA accounting purposes includes “[p]ractices, weightlifting and any film sessions or meetings required by coaches,” as well as the game itself counting for three hours, McMurphy adds.
The reason is quite simple: OSU’s spring semester doesn’t begin until next Monday, which means that the players aren’t in class and thus the standard in-season rules don’t apply. Oregon’s term, however, began this week, making them subject to the NCAA’s in-season rules.
That said, it’s likely much ado about nothing — especially if you’re under the impression that the 20-hour work week is merely a suggestion to begin with.
Earlier this week, in the midst of a discussion on the Buckeyes preparing to play its 15th game this season, head coach Urban Meyer acknowledged that the program was looking to scale back on the amount of prep work the players would be doing.
“You do have to treat it a little bit differently about how you practice, the amount of pad contact you have, the amount — how many times you’re going to hit the tailback and your offensive line,” Meyer said. “Those are all things that I think our staff and I’ve watched so close, and the same with our strength coach — not about just wearing them out, because it’s a much different season.”